RSS Feed

Enough!

Posted on

That’s it.

Enough.

I’ve had enough: of mediocre, of slacking, of not caring, of barely surviving, of having given up, of resignation, of resentment, anger, bitterness and laziness.

For the past three years it’s been rough, difficult, sad and hopeless.

I say ENOUGH!

Short-ish backstory: Art wasn’t making much money for years but didn’t tell me. He exhausted our sizable savings, but didn’t tell me until it came to a crisis point and I had no choice but to go back to work. I never, ever, wanted to be a working mom until my kids were in school full time.

Now I had to be when my youngest was 7 months old and my oldest just 4.

It was difficult to find a job and when I did it was at a place that was a long commute and in a position I hate/am miserable at. But it pays well and has good benefits.

Art’s ADD and bi-polar gets worse as he’s aging and he forgets to take his medicine quite frequently. This leads to him sometimes really doing a bad job of caring for the kids in the mornings (I leave for work before they get up. He’s in charge from waking up to getting to school).

All of this added up to our marriage falling apart, him taking a low level job that works weekends/weekend nights, cutting down on family time, me building up resentment and sadness at missing my children growing up due to HIS mistakes.

I held resentment that HE messed up and I’M the one who has to “pay” in an awful job, only seeing my kids a few hours a day, being in financial ruin and close to foreclosure on our home multiple times, and being way behind on bills-thisclose to having things shut off.

I’ve felt stressed, overworked, overwhelmed with carrying it all (childcare costs, childcare responsibilities, supporting the family financially, doing all the cleaning, laundry, etc.).

I gave up. That is MY fault. Yes, his mistakes led to the situation but it was MY reaction TO the situation that I am done with.

Prior to all this I was a GOOD mom. I kept up with kids’ doctor and dentist check ups. I arranged playdates. I fed them healthy meals and snacks. I created educational and fun learning activities at home. My house was clean. I had patience and forgiveness seventy times seven.

But now I’ve skipped multiple doctor/dentist visits for the kids leading to Lexi having some cavities, the house is a disaster, the floors disgusting. I have little patience and find myself snapping more at the kids. Their meals and snacks have been terrible and unhealthy. I resort to “screen time” more and more rather than creative activities.

This is not me. This is not who I was nor who I want to be.

I don’t know how to come back from this. I don’t know how to regain me. I don’t know where to start except to fall on the mercy of the One who knows me and plans my days.

I don’t know what my next step will be but I know that next step is now.

 

 

 

Homeschool!

I’ve decided to try and homeschool Lexi for preschool at home. Here’s what our first week looks like (all materials are from this great website). I will our homeschooling in the mornings if we don’t have a playdate or something else and in the afternoons, after nap, if we do have somewhere to go in the mornings. Our theme this week is: Ocean

Monday: Lexi with mom, I work Mondays
Tuesday: 1. Nomenclature Cards (pictures of ocean life with their scientific names)
2. Coloring the letter “o” for ocean
3. Bible Memory Verse: “And God said, “Let the waters under the Heavens be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear. And it was so.”
4. Large Motor: My Gym gymnastics class (plus social)
5. Social: I have women’s Bible study that morning, so she’ll be with other kids in the church nursery

Wednesday: 1. Pattern Cards (making a pattern using different ocean life cards)
2. Graphing (she rolls a dice onto a paper with different ocean life on it and colors in a square. At the end we see how many times it landed on the fish or whale, etc).
3. Tracing: help the fish get home (she’ll trace lines from fish to their house to practice writing)
4. Memory Verse work

Thursday: 1. Music-Little Rockers class (plus social)
2. Nomenclature Cards
3. Color by number: starfish
4. Beginning sounds: (Fish, Wave, etc)
5.Memory Verse
6. How Many Fish? (she places cards with different fish on them in the “ocean” and then places the correct # next to them)

Friday: 1. Tracing the letter “O”
2. Memory Verse
3. Nomenclature Cards
4. A Memory game with ocean life cards
5. Which one is different? (with ocean life)

In addition, I’ll fit in the following whenever we have time:
1. Reading these books: Ocean Peek a Boo, Noah’s Ark, I Spy in the Ocean, Finding Nemo Just Keep Swimming!
2. Video: Numbers Ahoy by Leapfrog
3. Playing with toy sea life in her sensory bin
4. Paining an ocean and adding fish stickers
5. Acting out the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale


Day in the Life: 1

 Some mommy blogs I read are posting a detailed description of their days so we can all see we are more alike than we think! So, here’s mine.

This was yesterday (Wednesday).

7:45 a.m. Lexi wakes up, Daddy gets her up and going (it was his night to co-sleep). I’m half dozing, half awake as I listen to them read books and play in her room.

8:00 a.m. Lexi comes running into our room saying, “Wake up, Mommy!” I pull her up on the bed with me and we snuggle a bit and Art and I talk.

8:15: a.m. Art changes Lexi’s diaper while I dress/get ready for day.

8:30 a.m. Art gets ready for his day and heads to work. I put Lexi in her high chair and feed her breakfast. She requests eggs, yelling, “I LOVE scrambled eggs!” Breakfast: scrambled eggs, blueberries, milk. I eat eggs too.

9:00 a.m. Lexi plays in her playroom while I clean up the kitchen from breakfast and clean the bathrooms, I do a quick check of email/Facebook.

9:30 a.m. Get Lexi dressed and brush her hair, shoes on, diaper bag packed, strapped in the car seat and we head off for a playdate.

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Playdate with my playgroup. Me and three other moms talk and hang out while our kids destroy the playroom play. We go back and forth from talking with each other and refereeing toddler moments like grabbing toys out of each other’s hands. The kids range in age from 14 months to 3. We all move to the kitchen for a snack: crackers, cheese, raw veggies, brownies. Lexi actually prefers the crackers and carrots to the brownies!

11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Back in the car seat, we begin to head home. Lexi starts wailing in the back seat, “no hoooooome, I don’t want to go home. I want to go to the mall and ride the merry go round and eat lunch there!” She loves to be out and about. We stop at the mall where Lexi eats a slice of pizza and an apple juice. We start walking around the mall, I let her walk a few steps ahead of me since the mall is not crowded. We get to the “rides”, those put a quarter in type, like in front of stores. She rides the merry go round, the fire truck and blue race car. When it’s time to go, she protests, loudly, but calms down pretty quickly. I browse through Macy’s looking at expensive purses (my weakness in my otherwise frugal life). Back to the car seat, head home.

1:00 p.m. -2:00 p.m. Change Lexi’s diaper, wash her hands and face and put her down for a nap. We read a few books and then its sleep time. She usually takes a 2 to two and a half hour nap each day. But today? Nothing doing! She’s bouncing all over the bed, reading her books, playing with her favorite stuffed animals (a duck named Duckers and a pig named Hamlet, also a doll named Penelope Peapod), kicking the wall, yelling, “Mommy, where are you? I’m done. Time to get up!” I go to try and rub her back and get her to sleep. Nope. She cuddles with me a bit and then wants to “go pway” (play). After an hour I figure a nap is just not going to happen, so we get up.

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. I need the break I usually get at nap time, so Lexi plays in her playroom while I putter around the house and on the computer.

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. I need a hair cut and so does Lexi. So, back into the car, we head to the local Great Clips (see, frugal!) and both get trims. She’s wonderful in the salon so I take her to Cold Stone Creamery after and get her a small ice cream. Which she eats about 3 bites of and declares she’s done.  Back in the car and head home. The whole way home Lexi has a running conversation with me/herself: “I LOVE playdates. I LOVE Great Clips….I LOVE my home too. I LOVE Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Look, there’s the diner! Hi diner! Look, there’s Costco, hi Costco! Where we going, Mommy? Home to play! I LOVE to play!”

4:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m. Lexi and I play in the playroom with her doll house. She creates this whole scenario where she (as the mommy) and me (as the baby) take a plane to Great Adventure and on rides and go swimming. She also has these characters eat dinner, sleep in the sun, go in the pool and play the piano.

5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. We head outside to play. Lexi runs around looking at ants and flowers, riding her tractor, going on her slide. At 5:30, Daddy comes home and hangs out with her outside while I head in to cook dinner.

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Yay, it’s leftover’s night!  Meatballs, chicken, green beans. So, I heat up our food, prepare our plates, set the table and call Lexi and Daddy in. We say grace and eat dinner together, which goes mostly smoothly. There’s a few times of minor meltdowns when Daddy pours Lexi’s milk and she wanted to “help you pour, Daddy!” but other than that Art and I try to talk like adults while at the same time, including Lexi in the conversation.

Me: “How was your day?”

Art: tells an interesting story about his day

Lexi: “DAAAAAAAAADY, I LOOOOOVE YOU. Can I have more milk?”

We try to talk some more.

Lexi: “MMMM, meatballs! Today was fun, right Mommy?”

I retreat to the bedroom to read my devotional while Art cleans the kitchen and Lexi from dinner.

6:30-7:00 Art and Lexi play while I have these few moments of alone time!

7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Bathtime, hair washing, teeth brushing. Again, Lexi and I play out a scenario, she loves doing this. This time its a mommy and baby mermaid learning how to jump in the water. Get Lexi’s pajamas on and we read two books, “A Color of His Own” about a chameleon and “Bedtime for Bunnies.” We say our prayers and then lights out. I lay with Lexi and sing and snuggle with her. She drops off pretty quickly since she hasn’t had her nap. Meanwhile, Art has headed out for a class at church.

8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. More alone time! I read! More than one page at a time! I putter around. I go online.

10:00 p.m. Art comes home, we talk for a bit (hey, I remember you, you’re my awesome husband!), Art heads to his office to chill out and I go to sleep!

10:00 p.m.-7:30 a.m. next morning: Lexi wakes once from a nightmare, around 2:30 a.m. and is crying, “I want my mommy,” I go in and take a turn co-sleeping with her.

Tantrums!

Posted on

First: at the grocery store today, an Asian woman behind me in line leaned in and said (about Lexi), “is she Chinese? Is your husband Chinese?” I explained Lexi’s mixed Chinese/Cambodian/we have no idea heritage and that she was adopted. Then the woman starts going off on how GORGEOUS she is and how STUNNING she’s going to be when she grows up and her daddy better get READY for all the  BOYS because she is just so BEAUTIFUL. I don’t mind people complimenting my kid, but she went way over the top.

Then she gives me her life story of how she’s married to someone of Irish heritage and her daughter with him (Asian, mixed race like Lexi) is just GORGEOUS and her husband has to KEEP ALL THE BOYS AWAY. Then she whips out her cell phone and proceeds to show me pictures of her 16 year old daughter, all dolled up in some slinky, sexy mini dress, makeup, hair done, the whole thing.

She was a pretty girl, yes, but, let’s just calm down! She then complains to me how she’s tired of people only noticing and commenting on her daughter’s beauty and outward appearance, that there’s more to her than that. Ummmm, I was thinking, “isn’t that exactly what you’re doing with MY daughter?”

Then she says, “she was adopted? well, her (birthmother’s) loss, she doesn’t get to see that beauty!”
So, what is she saying? That if Lexi was an ugly child the birthmother would have been happy to get rid of her? That looks are the only thing a birthmother is concerned about when she places for adoption?

At that point, I was finished checking out, so just said a breezy, “well, bye, have a nice day” and got out of there!

Second: Lexi goes through phases (that after two years I’m starting to see are kind of normal….) where she’s my normal, wonderful, happy toddler. Then she enters something I call, “JESUS PLEASE HELP ME NOT TO JUST PUT HER ON THE PORCH AND LOCK THE DOOR” mode. She’ll be in this mode for a few weeks, usually when there’s some kind of physical or development milestone or some physical issue like teething. And, then, one morning, back to her normal self for a few months.

We seem to cycle through these normal and “help me LORD” phases regularly.

Guess where we are right now. If my front yard was fenced in, yeah, she’d be there. Alone.

I love that little girl more than life itself and would not change being her mom for anything. And at night, when she’s sleeping peacefully, or when she does something really cute, my heart just swells.

But, right now? In this phase? Jimminy Crickets, she’s driving me batty!!

She’ll be two and a half in September. And the tantrums are just….seriously? She has to fulfill the “terrible two’s” cliche? Really?!

Before, when something didn’t go her way, she’d throw what was, what I thought (ha!) a tantrum in the form of a few tears, one little whine and it’d be over. I thought, “huh, tantrums, not that bad!”

Yeah, that was just the warm up.

Because now, so far, when everything doesn’t go her way, it’s WWIII.

Doesn’t get a cookie for breakfast? Tantrum.

I insist on holding her hand in the parking lot? Tantrum.

It’s time to leave the playground? Tantrum.

I put on her Hello Kitty shirt instead of her “I love horses” shirt, which is in the laundry? Tantrum.

It’s time to leave the gymboree class because she’s throwing a tantrum? Another tantrum. ALL. THE. WAY. HOME, complete with kicking the car seat and wailing, “no no no no no no”.

The tantrums usually devolve into screaming “no” over and over, crying at top volume, kicking and throwing herself on the floor. So far she’s thrown herself on the floor of the library, gymboree, Target and the Target bathroom (::shudder::). Today at the library was the most recent. I got so annoyed, I said, “mommy’s leaving” and began to walk out. She stayed on the floor, rolling around. I would have left her there too, except some PERFECT mom with PERFECT Dick and Jane kids was all, “oh, look, that baby is tired, her mommy must let her sleep on the floor. Come on, perfect children, let’s go check out our books.” Ok, she didn’t say the “perfect children” part, but she DID say the rest.

I swooped in and picked up floor baby so this woman wouldn’t call CPS.

Please let this be over soon. Please.

Digi Scrapping!

Posted on

Well, I’ve been traditional (paper) scrapbooking for 6 years now and decided to try my hand at digital scrapbooking. I’ve found that with a toddler around I just don’t have the time like I used to complete all the pages I want and I get so far behind. Not to mention I take so many photos of Lexi as it is! So, here’s my very first digital scrapbook page. What do you guys think? I just have to figure out how and where to get this printed now!

What do you declare Independence from?

Posted on

I declare independence from:

*worrying that I’m not a good enough mother

*obsessing about our retirement savings as I watch it shrink as I continue to be a SAHM

*socks. no socks till October and it’s 50 degrees. Maybe 40.

*sweating (that new Degree, the one that generates “freshness” when you move? It ROCKS!).

*having to fill every moment of every day with “something fun,” it’ summer, we can just relax

*wearing the same tshirt all the time just because its comfy. Mix it up, girl!

Tidbits

Posted on
  • Sometimes Lexi approaches strangers with ease and is friendly and sometimes she throws a fit if a stranger talks to her. At her “my gym” class today, there was a substitute teacher. When the teacher came to help her with something, Lexi said, “go away, mommy help me.”  (I took care of that right away with a talk and an apology from Lexi) At the grocery store, one person approaches her and talks to her and she’s very receptive, the next aisle over, she cries out, “no, no no” to the person. What gives?
  • She is also mercurial in her physical confidence. Sometimes she runs off to climb some huge slide without me, even saying “by myself” and other times she won’t step up a tiny step without begging me to hold her hand because she’s “scared!” Is this normal?
  • Her favorite play right now is pretend, specifically, playing family. She will use anything and everything. Seriously. She’ll take her french fries at dinner, and say, “that’s the mommy and that’s the baby” and then have the french fries play. “That’s the mommy and that’s the baby” is, by far, her favorite. I hear it, oh, about 345, 344, 987 a day.
  • I think the ice cream truck is trying to drive me mad. Three times now, he’s come into our neighborhood with his Pied Piper of a tinny music box playing, seducing my kid. Three times he’s circled our block, but NOT COME DOWN OUR STREET. To a two year old who is praying for God to bring the ice cream truck….this is torture. It’s also torture on the mom who has to explain it.
  • I decided to hold off on going back to school right now. I want to, but we simply can not afford it now.
  • All our activities have ended for the summer and I’m staring at weeks of empty days……..gulp.
  • I want to take a vacation, but don’t think we can afford one this summer.
  • Haven’t scrapbooked in forever, just haven’t felt creative lately, been in a slump. I just joined a local scrapbooking group on meetup and they have a crop on July 9th that I”m going to, hopefully that’ll get me going (note to Art: I’m going on a crop July 9. You are on daddy duty).
  • I’m thinking I may possibly want to adopt again, but Art doesn’t, so there you are. I’m happy with our family of three, it just might be nice for Lexi to have a sib. But then again, maybe not.
  • Lexi adores her daddy and it truly is a beautiful thing to watch.
  • Potty training is not even in her radar yet. She knows about it, but strongly refuses to go. She clearly told me, “no pull ups, no underwear, I want diapers.” Maybe we’ll try again in the fall.
  • Growing my hair out from being super short. It’s in that puffy stage right now so sometimes my head looks like a Q-tip. Awesome.
  • Loving summer: outside all day, flip flops, water play, warm weather, no coats.
  • I like the beach. Lexi usually likes the beach. I want to go to the beach. But, for those of you who don’t know, the Jersey shore beaches are HUGE. The stretch of sand between the boardwalk and the ocean is looooooong. And Jersey shore sand is soft, you sink as you walk in it. So, it’s put foot down, it sinks in, put other foot in, sinks…walking across that long stretch of sand is exhausting and quite a work out. Lexi doesn’t like it, she won’t walk on it for that long, she gets frustrated with her sinking feet. So, carrying her, her toys, towels, snacks, drinks, sunscreen, blanket, dry clothes, diapers, hats, sunglasses all the way across the sand…ugh. The stroller is not an option, tried it, the wheels just promptly sank and stuck.
  • Off to lay down, I think I’m getting an ear infection.

Keep repeating

Posted on

She is JUST two. I have to keep telling myself. She JUST turned two in March. And anyway, it’s not up to me.

What am I talking about? Lexi, of course. She’s 90% for height PLUS she’s so verbal, says too many things to mention, all of it clearly that others can understand her, speaks in multiple word sentences and reads. So, given her height and verbal abilities, I often expect more out of her, treating her like she’s 3 instead of just 2…and then wondering if she’s “behind.”

I also have to stop expecting her to reach milestones at or around the same time as friends of similar ages. Every baby IS different. And I do have this competitive streak in me that wants my kid to reach all the milestones first. Yeah, it’s dumb, I know. I’m working on it.

And I am getting better. I am relaxing some, I just keep repeating:

She’s JUST two.

and

It’s really not up to me.

For example: swimming/pool. She LOVES it. She will jump off the steps into my arms, she will happily paddle around holding my hands, she semi puts her head under and blows bubbles, she’d stay in the pool all day if I let her. But she freaks out if I let go of her. She’s wearing a life vest, of course, and she won’t go under, but she freaks, panics and that causes her to just tip over and end up on her side or back. If she’d just stay calm, I’m sure she could stay upright in the vest. Two of her friends (of course) can already do this.

She’s JUST two. It’s really not up to me, it’s up to her own developmental timeline.

Potty training. Some days I’m so ready and others not so much. Not so much because I’m emotionally not ready for my “baby” to be out of diapers and so not ready to be on the constant vigilance you have to be on when a child is training/just training-being near a kid friendly bathroom where ever you go!

She knows what a potty is, she knows what to do. She tells me when she’s pooping and peeing (she calls them both “pooping” so I have to figure out which one she means when she says, “there’s poop coming out!”). She asks to have her diaper changed. She’ll sit on the potty…but not do anything in it. As soon as the diaper is back on: she goes. When I talk to her about underwear being fun to wear and getting to pick out underwear with My Little Pony on it (someone BETTER make kids’ underwear with those dang MLP’s on them) or using pull ups instead of diapers, she shakes her head and says, “No. No potty. No underwear. No pull ups. I want diapers.”

She’s not going to go to school in diapers, she will be potty trained when she decides she wants to be.

I have to stop putting some time lines on it. I’m wondering though: Do you “start” potty training and just go cold turkey and don’t put diapers on anymore? Or do you move toward it gradually and wait until the child says they are ready?

She is JUST two. It’s really not up to me.

Working. The community college I teach at offered me two classes for the fall. I’ve only ever taught one. The classes are Monday and Wednesday a.m. and Monday late afternoon/evening. So, Lexi would be in grandma and/or Art’s care all day Monday (I’d leave right after breakfast and not come back until she was in bed) and for 3’ish hours on Wednesday mornings. Plus on Tuesday mornings I participate in a Bible study at church and she goes to the church nursery/day care for two hours.

So, she’d be away from me all day Monday, two hours Tue. mornings, 3’ish hours Wednesday mornings and I  can’t forget, also on Sundays during church and every other Friday for MOPS. So, on a week where I had MOPS:

Monday: all day grandma/daddy

Tuesday: a.m. church nursery

Wednesday: a.m. grandma

Thursday: mommy all day

Friday: a.m. church nursery

Saturday: all day mommy/daddy

Sunday: a.m. church nursery

It just seems too much…..Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday…to be out of my care that much.

The money will help and it would feel nice to be doing something in my profession. Yet, I feel guilty about it, not sure I should take both classes, maybe only do one, the Monday evening one.

Am I just being neurotic? Or is that a long time to be away from her? And I know there are women who have to work 40+ hours a week who are away from their kids a lot more than that…I’m just an over thinker and a worrier, “what if by me working she grows less attached to me and resents me and has a bad time and as a result is a mess as an adult and needs therapy and dates men who abuse her and doesn’t respect herself.”

See? Told ya I was nuts.

Back from AWOL

Posted on

I know I haven’t written in forever, just haven’t felt like it, been in a slump.

So, some updates:

1. Still trying to figure out if I can go to grad school and get my doctorate. I have until July to decide, that’s when I’d HAVE to register for fall classes. It’s a money thing. We are on just Art’s income and the tuition would be $3000 a semester, that’s $3000 every four months, excluding summer of course. We DON’T have that extra laying around, it would have to come out of our inheritance/retirement savings/stocks. Not sure if we want to-or should-dip into that. So…don’t know what we’ll do yet…but most likely I’ll put it off since we don’t have the money.

2. Which brings me to #2. I feel God leading us to adopt again, plus I really feel like it would do Lexi good. She’s not spoiled, but she is the center of attention All. The. Time. Especially when it’s me, Art and grandma and grandpa. One little kid is able to have four adults doing her bidding, admiring her every move. I don’t think that’s so healthy. Plus, she loves other kids and is always trying to give pacifiers to friends’ babies and take care of them. BUT, when I try to hold friends’ babies, she gets very upset, and says, “baby down, baby down! my mommy!” so maybe she’s just not ready for a sib. But adopting again is a money issue as well. Adopting again would cost the same as getting my doctorate. We don’t think we can swing both, unless we empty our savings. Again, not what we want to do.

While I don’t really want to be in that newborn stage again, I do get kind of excited about another baby. Art, however, is SO not into it. He does NOT want another child. At all. So, there we are.

3. Which brings me to Lexi’s current bad ass-ness. She’s almost two months into being two and OH MY GOSH SOMEONE TELL ME SHE IS NORMAL AND THIS WILL PASS BECAUSE I’M SERIOUSLY AT MY WITS END MOST DAYS. Every little thing is a battle, even things she wants to do. Every time I say no-like to candy for breakfast or running in the street-she whines and throws a little tantrum; and it’s this annoying, loud, “wah wah wah” kind of whine and she knows she’s doing it and that its fake. If I tell her to stop, she’ll pout, but usually will stop. She even says to me, “I want to have a tantrum” and then proceeds to do just that. I feel like my whole day is “No, stop, don’t”.

And the defiance! After getting her hands dirty at a museum I told her not to put her hands in her mouth (which she’s been doing lately as her two year molars are coming in). She looks right at me, sticks out her tongue and rubs her hands all over her tongue as if she’s saying, “well, I didn’t put them IN my mouth.” Once I told her not to pull the pig tail elastics out of her hair, again, she looked right at me and moved her hand reeeeallllly slowly toward her pig tails then giggled and put her hands down. What do I do with this? Ignore? Punish? Laugh?

She’s also really into making weird sounds lately: screeching, howling, talking in funny voices. Sometimes its hilarious, sometimes its downright annoying.

But, with all of this toddler drama, I still wouldn’t change who she is and am still so blessed to be her mama.

I just want to know how to handle it better!

4. We went on a cruise to Bermuda for my 40th birthday. It was nice, but cold-wouldn’t do Bermuda this early in the year again. And I also learned a few things. a) a vacation with a toddler isn’t really a vacation. it’s the same stuff as at home (naps, diapers, early bed times, trying to stop them from climbing everything, no time to myself) just with better scenery. b) take more diapers than you think will need. and then take more. I took way more diapers than she goes through in a week and we ran out the 2nd to last day of the cruise. That was thanks to, after 3 days of constipation, a poop explosion with bowel movements pretty much every hour for two days. The last two days of the cruise she was in swim diapers because that’s all we had. c) cruises don’t sell diapers in the toiletries shop. d)I think Lexi fed her weight in Cheerios to the fish as her favorite thing was tossing them over the balcony while saying, “come and get it, fishies!” It was adorable.

5. Settling into spring, ramping up for summer. That’s about it!

What kind of mom? (RTP)

I recently read that around two years old, toddlers go through a mini-regression phase. Well, right on schedule Miss Lex, almost 2, is there. Now why they do this is pretty fascinating. Their little toddler brains are just getting wired enough to process memories and they, for the first time, remember being a baby!

Whoa.

Can you imagine suddenly remembering stuff from your past, like waking up from amnesia?

Anyway, these baby memories have been there all along but their primitive baby brains haven’t been able to process them. Now they can. And as they remember being babies some toddlers want to recreate those feelings of being swaddled and held all the time-hence the regression.

About a week after I read this Miss Lex, who will be two in March, asked me to “wrap” her in one of her blankets. I did. Then she got one of her doll’s baby bottles and said to me, “wock me” (rock me). I picked up her, all swaddled, rocked her and she pretended to drink on the bottle. This lasted for about 2 minutes and she was off trashing playing in her playroom as usual.

A few nights later, she would NOT go to sleep in her toddler bed. Now she’s been in a toddler bed since 18 months and sleeping most of the way through the night, most nights. My husband and I have practiced a modified co-sleeping with her up until that point. Being slightly crunchy, sort of AP (Attachment Parenting) parents, we didn’t mind. But she had moved on and actually enjoyed her little bed.

But this night, nope. I sang numerous renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Still wide awake.

I sang some of her other favorites.

Nothing doing.

I began to sing anything I could think of, including “Ooh Child” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band- partly to reassure myself that things WOULD get better but no dice.

Finally out of desperation and a leg cramp from sitting on the floor next to her bed, I asked her if she wanted to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Her tired, pathetic little voice croaked out, “sweep mommy daddy bed.” I brought her in, laid her down and she fell asleep right away.

On my arm.

I deftly manuavered my arm out and made an attempt to escape. After all, it was only 8:30 and I was not ready for sleep. As soon as I got off the bed she let out a loud cry and woke up.

Awesome.

Back in I went till she was asleep again. I finally decided to just stay and read my Kindle by my book light while she slept pressed up against me until I was ready to go to sleep myself.

I had moments of “this is crazy” and “you are spoiling her” and “what kind of mom are you, a crazy one?”

Then I realized, that as sort of crunchy, AP parents my husband and I had made a commitment to meet the needs of our child the best we could and that worked best for our family. We totally get that each family makes their own path and what works for one, may not work for another.

I realized that this was temporary, that she had been sleeping by herself for a few months now and would be back to that soon enough.

I realized that a part of me kind of enjoyed having her snuggled against me, that I had missed this closeness in her new found toddler independence.

And most important for me was realizing that, at this stage in her life, its not really about me. Now for someone who married later in later and had a child later in life (34), it NOT being about me was sometimes hard to remember!

But I realized that this is what Miss Lex needed at this point. Haven’t we all had moments in our lives where we felt vulnerable and just wanted to be held? Just wanted to be physically close to someone we loved? How would we have felt if that person had said, “I’m not going to hold you, that would just spoil you, handle this on your own.” We wouldn’t have felt loved, would we?

Miss Lex whether from remembering babyhood or just feeling a little vulnerable wanted mommy to be close by. And while it was not easy or what I wanted at that moment, it was what she needed.

So, what kind of mom am I? One who tries (not always succeeds) in meeting my child’s needs for love, assurance and attachment as best I can.

My DVR’d episode of Glee would have to wait.